PP·kg-1 values derived from jumping appear to correlate well with jumping ability. Although part of the reason for these high correlations may be related to the basic formula (24) used to predict power (i.e. [A (BdM) + B (jump height) + C]/[BdM] = A + B [jump height]/[BdM] + C/[BdM]); however, it is reasonable to assume the actual formula does accurately predict power output within a reasonable degree of error. Thus, some generalizations concerning variable relationships can be made.
This study has shown strong relationships between PP and weightlifting ability using simple methods. Furthermore, this relationship was apparent in both men and women. Importantly for the coach and athlete, PP was derived from a physical effort (VJ) that is relatively nonfatiguing and takes relatively little time to administer.
Several recent studies (5, 21, 28, 29) and a review (27) have indicated that there can be a strong association between PP and measures of explosive strength such as weighted jump squats (28), the bench press (5), arm flexion (21), and throwing performance (29). Results from the present study in which PP derived from vertical jumping correlates strongly with weightlifting performance supports this association. Indeed, if one considers the snatch and clean and jerk to be power-oriented (i.e., dynamic explosive) lifts (16, 17), then the strong relationship between the 1RM squat (maximum strength) and these lifts also supports the idea that maximum strength is strongly associated with power and explosiveness (29).
These results also indicate that body mass (BdM) strongly influences (a) estimated power production from the jumps (r = PPCMJ vs. BdM = 0.89; PPSJ vs. BdM = 0.92), (b) the 1RM squat (r = SQ vs. BdM = 0.83), and (c) the relationship between maximum strength and power calculated from the jump (r = PPCMJ vs. SQ = 0.92; PPSJ vs. SQ = 0.93). Therefore the association between absolute maximum strength and power is influenced by body mass (Table 4).
However, these results also indicate that relative measures of maximum strength influence relative measures of PP and explosiveness (ability to perform SN and C&J). For example, strong relationships between a relative measure of maximum strength (SQ·kg-1) and the SN·kg-1 (r = 0.80) and C&J·kg-1 (r = 0.85) and moderate to strong relationships between relative strength (SQ·kg-1) and relative measures of power were also observed (Table 4), indicating that maximum strength influences power independently of body mass, which agrees with previous observations (26). Similar strong correlations were noted for all groups (Table 5). Schmidtbleicher (25) indicates that maximum strength is the basic quality affecting power output; Stone et al. (27, 28, 29) also determined that maximum strength has large effects upon explosive-power-oriented sports performance. The results of the present observation support this concept.
Because lifting (SN and C&J) usually starts from a relatively static position, it may be assumed that a static vertical jump might correlate better with lifting performance (i.e., SN and C&J). However, starting from the static position may not be as important as what occurs just before and particularly during the pull. This is because the rebending of the knees in these lifts may be analogous to the countermovement in jumping. The results from this study do not indicate that one type of jump offered major advantages over the other, as both types of jump correlated strongly with the 1RM values for the weightlifting movements. Previous research indicates that the CMJ typically results in greater jump heights than the SJ (18), agreeing with the results of the present study. The CMJ is associated with a stretch-shortening cycle (SSC) that enhances performance by allowing a greater force or impulse to be reached during the concentric phase of the jump (3). The mechanism(s) by which concentric force can be augmented by a previous stretch is not completely clear but several possibilities include (a) reutilization of stored elastic energy, (b) a myototic reflex, (c) muscle-tendon interactions allowing the muscle to remain closer to its optimum length and also shorten at a more favorable velocity for force production, (d) optimizing of the muscle activation pattern, or (e) eliciting a greater preforce at initiation of the concentric phase (2, 5, 8).
Of note is the relationship between PP, PP·kg-1, the performance variables CMJ and SJ height, and the three lifts. These results suggest that for movements in which relatively light loads (no external loading) are lifted, the ability to produce high-power outputs per unit of body mass is more important than absolute power. On the other hand, when large external loads are applied (i.e., SQ, SN, C&J), absolute power production becomes a much more important factor. This observation is quite important, because it suggests that training for different types of sports would entail concentration upon developing different aspects of power production (i.e., absolute vs. relative power).
In the present study, men (n = 38) produced a 40% higher CMJ and a 30% higher SJ than the women (n = 26). The average jump-height difference between the CMJ and SJ was 5.4% for the women and 11.8% for the men. Similar results were noted for power production. These data indicate that the men were able to generate more force from the muscle's contractile apparatus (i.e., SJ differences) and were better able to utilize the SSC associated with the CMJ than the women were.
Peak power outputs for elite lifters during weightlifting movements can be greater than 52 W·kg-1 for men and 40 W·kg-1 for women (9, 11). The PP values produced during maximum lifts (9, 10, 11) are slightly lower than those produced in the jumps by the residents. Lifts of approximately 70–80% of 1RM produce the highest power outputs (about 10–20% higher than the 1RM values). If one considers jumping as “unloaded lifting,” then a continuum of PP outputs can be constructed (lifts of approximately 70% > unloaded lifts [jumps] ≥ 1RM lifts). This continuum generally fits the expected power curve generated from force-velocity relationships among highly strength-trained athletes (28). Thus, well-trained lifters would be expected to produce PP from jumps equal to or slightly higher than those observed in maximum lifts but lower than in lifts at 70–80% of maximum.
Both trained and untrained women have been shown to generate lower power outputs (both absolute and relative) compared with men (11, 19, 23). In this study the PP of the women was approximately 68% of the men and 81% for PP·kg-1. These values are similar to those obtained during the lifts of approximately 65% (absolute) and 80% (relative) (11, unpublished data).
Although, correlations between strength (1RM SQ) and jump PP values versus weightlifting ability were strong in both men and women, correlations were somewhat higher among the men. This may indicate a somewhat lesser reliance on strength and power during weightlifting movements by women (e.g., relatively greater dependence on technique factors, speed under the bar, etc.). Nevertheless, these strong correlations between the 1RM SQ, PP, and the SN and C&J indicate that among both men and women stronger more powerful athletes lift more weight.
Values for the jumps and derived PP outputs were considerably higher for the junior lifters compared with untrained adolescents of similar age (unpublished data; for review see 22). However, the older lifters (residents) produced 20–30% higher absolute PPs than the juniors but had statistically similar values for PP·kg-1. Although training differences likely play a role, part of this difference in power production may be because of differences in body mass, muscle mass, and muscle-mass distribution resulting from maturation. For example, Dore et al. (6) demonstrated that adults have a higher ratio of lean-leg volume to body mass compared to children; thus it is possible that this type of difference would be present among these groups. Several studies (1, 6, 7) have indicated that absolute short-term maximal power output measured using various protocols is lower in adolescents than in adults and that these differences can be related to differences in muscle mass and distribution. Thus, the differences in absolute power between the older and younger lifters are at least partially related to differences in body mass (muscle mass) and, perhaps, distribution.
Results indicate that vertical jump PP is strongly associated with weightlifting ability. Thus, these results indicate that PP derived from the vertical jump (CMJ or SJ) can be a valuable tool in assessing potential weightlifting performance.
The very practical approach used in this study yields data agreeing with the findings from studies that used much more sophisticated, time-consuming, and costly instrumentation. Thus, this method of evaluation could allow the coach to generally assess an athlete's “fitness” for lifting without performing 1RMs. Additionally, the method is relatively quick, results in little fatigue, and should not interfere with training.
Using simple statistical methods, associations between sports performance and jump variables can be made. Assuming that a reasonable degree of techncal skill is used in the weightlifting movements, results from the present study suggest that power derived from vertical jumps can be strongly related to weightlifting ability. Furthermore PP·kg-1 derived from the jumps is strongly related to jump height. These results suggest that, depending upon the type of sport, training should emphasize PP·kg-1 for those sports performances associated with lifting only body mass (e.g., sprinting, volleyball) and absolute power in sports in which higher external loads or forces are encountered (e.g., weightlifting, power lifting, football linemen).
Another factor for consideration is the use of this method in a weightlifting talent identification program. Because PP has been shown to have high correlations with weightlifting ability, identifying young potential weightlifters using this method would be advantageous.
Finally, it may be possible to use the PP·kg-1 or PP and jump height (provided body mass does not change substantially) as an indicator of accumulating fatigue. If marked decreases in PP·kg-1 or PP and jump height are noted this could indicate adverse adaptations to training (or total stressors) have occurred. Alternatively, alterations in power performance accompanying different phases of the periodized training program may be tracked using jump performance to assess adaptations or lack thereof which might result.
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Keywords:Copyright © 2004 by the National Strength & Conditioning Association.
vertical jump; weightlifting; power; talent identification